[36] After Kafka, Stephen Mead

I was astonished when they burst in, all guns and shouts.
In other times there were always warnings:
rumors, patches to wear—
So ‘n So’s been arrested. Listen, better clear out.
None of that happened though, the closing of shops,
smear campaigns, reports of violence.
I don’t even know who gave them my name
or why I was taken.
If only I could see someone else, hear nearby breathing.
The ones who bring food don’t even wear uniforms.

“Wouldn’t you like to ask me a few questions?” I say.
“Isn’t there anything you need to find out?”

“All in good time, all in good time,”
is the only acknowledgement I get.

I think of political alliance, sex, drugs.
I think of causes, marches, some wrong-think
to plead guilty of but keep drawing blanks.
That was another life and on either side of my head
are two new crescent burns.

I touch them as if for comfort,
wanting at least the remembrance of shock
but keep forgetting what for.

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